Kansas City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers conducted a hearing on legislation that would bar the State Gaming Commission from revoking the license of a casino for underperforming financially.
The bill was filed in reaction to the Gaming Commission's decision to revoke the license of the President Casino in downtown St. Louis. Among those testifying in favor of the bill was Mack Bradley of Pinnacle Entertainment, the company that owns the President Casino and the vessel where it's housed, the Admiral Riverboat:
"In our view, every licensee in the state is at risk if this bill fails to pass. We think it's a serious matter for Missouri's ability to create a stable business environment and to attract outside investment," said Bradley.
The Gaming Commission opposes the bill. Jim McNichols is a lobbyist who appeared on behalf of the Gaming Commission:
"Stripping MCG's power to impose penalties, suspension or revocation for inadequate declining performance would neuter the commission and in effect negate our ability to regulate Missouri's gaming industry," said McNichols.
But the bill's supporters say every casino in Missouri would be at risk if licenses can be revoked solely for financial reasons. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay told the House Committee on Urban Issues that closing the President Casino would cost the city much-needed jobs and revenue. A vote on the bill is expected at a later date.